Sanjaya mocks obsession with his hair, maybe, with a seven-ponytail fauxhawk

Some of the American Idol 6 top 10 may have improved since last week, but all anyone’s going to be talking about today is that thing Sanjaya Malakar had on his head. When Ryan Seacrest made him show the camera his profile, we learned that it was actually his hair, tied into seven center-mounted ponytails combined to form a freakishly large fauxhawk.

But it looked like an electrocuted squirrel had been sewn to his scalp. His hair was so crazy that the only logical explanation is that he’s making fun of all of the attention people pay to his hair style, which is actually kind of cool. (Access Hollywood has photos.)

Randy Jackson awkwardly referred to it. “The hairdo is definitely interesting,” he said. “I like the kind of mohawk look.” Paula Abdul tied it to his performance, telling Sanjaya, “If you had the gumption, if you had the ability to totally go for it, it would fit the wackiness of the fauxhawk.”

Simon Cowell, of course, was far more blunt. “I presume there was no mirror in your dressing room tonight,” he said, and that’s when the biggest surprise came.

Usually Sanjaya stands there looking like he’s about to pee himself, but tonight he fought back. “You’re just jealous that you couldn’t pull it off,” he told Simon–twice, repeating it so Simon could hear.

Then Simon Cowell basically gave up. “Sanjaya, I don’t think it matters any more what we say, actually. I genuinely don’t. I think you are in your own universe, and if people like you, good luck.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.